Calling for the Rejection of Shocking Anti-Semitism and Homophobia Advocated by Right Wing Hungarian Political Party

Representative Joseph Crowley (NY-7)

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (NY-7), along with 49 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives, sent a letter to Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban strongly rejecting recent, shocking anti-Semitic and homophobic positions supported by the far-right political party, Jobbik. The lawmakers encouraged Hungary’s leaders to take a firm stand against these positions, including by speaking forcefully and publicly against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and intolerance in the country. Jobbik captured third place in Hungary’s recent elections – just two points behind the Socialists who had been the previous governing party.

“This kind of despicable hate speech from members of the Jobbik party denigrates, intimidates and scapegoats minorities in Hungary and has no place in any society,” said Rep. Crowley, who has been an outspoken critic of anti-Semitism and intolerance throughout the world. “The encouragement of hate, both in speech and action, by the Jobbik party is alarming, not only to those victimized in Hungary, but the global community. Jobbik leaders need to know the world is watching.”

In the letter, the members condemn statements by Jobbik’s elected officials, such as that of its presidential candidate who referred to Israeli Jews as “lice-infested, dirty murders,” and its official magazine, which contains anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric. In addition, the members express serious concerns about Jobbik’s attacks on Hungary’s LGBT community, including calling for the firing of a prominent leader on the basis of his presumed sexuality and urging the imprisonment of those who allegedly “promote” homosexuality.

“We are deeply concerned, however, by anti-Semitic and homophobic positions espoused by members of the Jobbik party…These positions have no place in civilized discourse and must not be allowed to go unchallenged,” write the lawmakers.

The letter is supported by the American Jewish Committee, Human Rights Campaign and the Council for Global Equality. Read the full text of the letter to Prime Minister Orban after the jump.

June 21, 2012
His Excellency Victor Orban
Prime Minister
c/o Embassy of Hungary
3910 Shoemaker Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Dear Prime Minister Orban:

As strong supporters of a strengthened U.S.-Hungary relationship, we have long sought to build upon the ties between our two countries.  Hungarian immigrants to the United States have contributed significantly to American economic, political and cultural life, and many Hungarian-Americans retain ancestral links with Hungary.  Moreover, Hungary holds a special place in the American imagination as one of the Central European states at the vanguard of fighting for freedom, independence and justice.

We are deeply concerned, however, by anti-Semitic and homophobic positions espoused by members of the Jobbik party.  For example, Jobbik’s presidential candidate, Krisztina Morvai, referred to Israeli Jews as “lice-infested, dirty murders” and warned Hungarian Jews that “your kind’s time is over.”  The Jobbik magazine implied there is truth to the myth that Jews used Christian blood in religious rites, and Jobbik introduced a bill in parliament referring to homosexuality as a perversion and calling for the imprisonment of those who “promote” homosexuality.  Further, Jobbik has attacked the employers of those who may be gay, calling for the ouster of Robert Alfoldi, the director of the National Theater, based on his presumed homosexuality.  These statements take place against a backdrop of broader problems of intolerance and discrimination against Roma, migrants and others.

These positions have no place in civilized discourse and must not be allowed to go unchallenged, particularly in light of reports by the U.S. Department of State and the Anti-Defamation League that anti-Semitic rhetoric is increasing in Hungary.

We understand that there has been an agreement reached to set up a parliamentary ethics committee to address hate speech in the parliament itself.  It is vital that Hungary’s leaders use their authority to speak out against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry to send a clear message that intolerance is an affront to the decency of the people of Hungary.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Joseph Crowley
Howard L. Berman
Alcee L. Hastings
Eliot L. Engel
Laura Richardson
Gary L. Ackerman
Theodore E. Deutch
Gregory W. Meeks
Steve Cohen
Steven R. Rothman
Jared Polis
Steve Israel
Carolyn B. Maloney
Jerrold Nadler
Jim McDermott
James P. Moran
Sander M. Levin
Maurice D. Hinchey
Raúl M. Grijalva
Janice D. Schakowsky
James P. McGovern
Barney Frank
Henry A. Waxman
Bob Filner
Michael M. Honda
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Rush D. Holt
Yvette D. Clarke
Keith Ellison
Nita M. Lowey
Shelley Berkley
Tammy Baldwin
David N. Cicilline
Adam B. Schiff
Susan A. Davis
Nydia M. Velázquez
Barbara Lee
Edolphus Towns
Carolyn McCarthy
Brian Higgins
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Luis V. Gutierrez
Bill Pascrell Jr.
Donna F. Edwards
Timothy H. Bishop
Earl Blumenauer
Gary C. Peters
Lois Capps
Christopher S. Murphy

2 Responses to “Calling for the Rejection of Shocking Anti-Semitism and Homophobia Advocated by Right Wing Hungarian Political Party”

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